The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) says that consumers in Umuahia owe it more than N930 million.
The Umuahia Business Unit Manager, Vincent Ekwekwu, said on Monday the debt had adverse affect on its operations. He also identified obsolete facilities as a major cause of the dwindling revenue profile of the unit.
Mr. Ekwekwu said that the challenge faced by the unit would be addressed on the completion of 132 KVA project at Ohiya in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia state.
“If Ohiya is realised, there is the possibility of getting at least 18 hours of power supply in Umuahia every day. As we speak, power supply in Umuahia is so bad that we are not sure of three hours of constant supply in a day. As we speak, there is no light in Umuahia, the line from Aba snapped,” he said.
Mr. Ekekwu said that although the line serving Umuahia from Alaoji Power Station sometimes supplied electricity for up to six days without disruption, “customers still do not pay their bills”.
He pledged the readiness of PHCN to enhance its operation when the Ohiya projected was completed, adding that it would commence realignment of transformers to free the overloaded transformers.
Mr. Ekwekwu said the company had transformers and personnel to render efficient services to consumers in the area and appealed to debtors to clear their debts.
“The energy we are billing is the quantum we give out monthly, and the amount as at December, 2011 has hit N930 million. In Umuahia, people have the penchant for not paying for electricity bills. If you supply light for six days and give them bills at the end of the month, people usually refuse to pay because they feel you did not give them enough supply.
“I know socio-economic lives will bounce back in Umuahia when Ohiya project is completed. Industries will want to relocate here, because Umuahia is relatively peaceful and people like doing business in peaceful areas.”